Perkins Eastman is among the top architecture and design firms in the world. We have expertise in several core practice areas—healthcare, senior living, education, hotels, office buildings, multi-family housing, urban design, and more. Over the past 20 years, the firm has expanded significantly, and sometimes rapidly. In 1990 it started as a small, New York firm – support was handled on a case-by-case basis. Need help? Just shout across the office.In 2011, we have approximately 600 employees in 14 offices around the world – now the firm has multiple complex systems (from network infrastructure and integrated software, to inter-office, inter-studio, inter-divisional teams) that all require integration and support
As Microsoft continues to make improvements to SharePoint with each new release, companies are being put in the position to decide on whether to stay with their current installation or upgrade to the latest version.With SharePoint Online now available and vastly improved social collaboration features, upgrading to a new platform seems like it should be an easy decision.Unfortunately, many companies go into an upgrade without fully comprehending that this is as significant an investment as their initial SharePoint deployment. Not understanding the scope of the project will inevitably lead to series of poor and costly decisions.In this session, we’ll discuss the implications of taking a SharePoint integration lightly and what considerations need to be made before making a decision that can impact the entire organization.
This may be an obvious question but this often gets overlooked and companies find themselves upgrading without clear purpose and reason. So as we look to upgrade to a newer version of SharePoint we should consider and evaluate the associated costs and benefits of such an endeavor. Not only should we determine the Return of Investment (ROI) of an upgrade but also what new features will the organization be able to take advantage of.
Your organization has answered the basic reflection questions and you’ve decided that, yes, it is time to upgrade. We’re prepared to move ahead.
There should be documentation in the form of outlines, manuals, presentations, etc., that go into some level of detail as to what the vision was for the original implementation. If yes, great! Carry on.In not, what happened?Were the reasons technical, was there lack of buy-in?
Global collection of content with intermixed items that follows the pyramid.
Mixture between global content, local offices, and personalized content such as department and practice area. The pyramid that we looked at a few screens ago are represented here. We may need to think of how to navigate to these items in a different manner than a conventional website. It may need to consist of a Global link with drop down navigation and once clicked the page view changes to the global level (i.e local office, role-based and individual).
All (or most) things have been considered and there is approval and budget to move forward. Go, but please try and keep within the speed limits
The concept of upgrading implies that we are taking something that already exists and upgrading/migrating it to something improved. It then is not surprising that we need to know what we have and how we are using it.
Managed metadata Term StoreBusiness Connectivity Service settings and all content typesBusiness Intelligence usage and settingsProject Server content and settings if applicableSecure Store Settings and Service accounts to be transferred/reused in new environment.Site Templates used: i.e. document centers, publishing, BI Centers, etc.
Do you have all of the source code and development files for said customizations?
How our data is presented to the user and what features /functionality will be afforded to them so that they can easily, safely and consistently consume the information that they need to do their job. This is where we consider how to organize content in terms what templates, functionality and features offered out-of-the-box or that which we plan to build, i.e. Communities, portals, my sites, managed metadata, social tagging, document centers, BI centers, publishing sites, general site structure, custom site templates and themes, etc.
As for system architecture this is where we consider how the information architecture is best served by system configurations, i.e. on premise vs. hosted vs. cloud vs. hybrid. This is also where we decide on server configurations and farm topology, i.e. how many application vs web servers, etc.
Survey users and study analytics.May not be a universally accepted approach, but I have found that 500 people will give you 500 different opinions.
The Challenges of Upgrading SharePoint by Bosko Kacarevic
1990 = 30 employees, 1 office
2014 = 750 employees, 13 offices
Greatest concentration of employees are in the NYC office.
KRT includes 4 employees based out of 3 offices.
Report to Director of Communications, but are primarily independent.
KRT provides Perkins Eastman with Knowledge Management services, including:
Practice Area Community liaisons
Learning & Development / Continuing Education
Knowledge Resource Team (KRT)
ORCHARD = Online Resource for Creative Harvest of Architecturally Relevant Discovery
Central repository for departmental resources.
SP 2007 is 7 years old (49 in canine years.)
SP 2013 is new and exciting!
Great for collaboration
O365 is less resource-intensive
SP is familiar
Out of the box community sites.
Migration should be easy
Let’s do this!
Time to Upgrade!
Is there anything wrong with what we have?
Is there room for improvement?
How much would it cost to upgrade?
Does an upgrade fit into the plans for other system upgrades?
Does it fit with the organization’s strategic goals?
What is the driving force behind the upgrade?
What benefits must exist to justify the cost upgrade?
What new features and functionality will become available?
What features may have deprecated?
What license version do we need?
Version comparison (Office 365 vs. On-Premise vs. Current Version)
More Detailed Considerations
This is a major capital investment. (Did I say major?)
Extensive user and administrator training
Potentially impacts everyone and everything in your organization.
Ties up resources and involves multiple levels of approvals.
Points to Remember
Prior implementation documentation should be available. Find it and study it!
Was the vision and what was reality?
Who was part of the original team? Did that team work well together?
Should History Repeat Itself?
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We have decided to move forward.
The catalyst was Hurricane Sandy.
Phase I – Office 365
Phase II – SharePoint
Phase III – Data connections
Evaluate internal capabilities.
Create logical and strategic partnerships.
Understand the internal team’s strengths and weaknesses.
Look at current vendor relationships as candidates.
Look at other vendors.
Assemble the Right Team
Establish team governance, guidelines and expectations.
Develop definitive roles and responsibilities.
Create a Team Site and provide everyone with access.
All communications and documentation to go through team site.
Team Kick-off Meeting
Start with a thorough inventory, not design!
Provides a blue print of what we have and this will assist in designing the future
Prevents features and functionality from being overlooked.
Ensuring that the final product provides value to the business.
Inventory Current Environment
Current Information Architecture: How the content is generally organized?
Current System Architecture: farm topology in terms of servers, development vs
production environments, application pools, web applications.
Inventory of current functionality & features enabled and used
Inventory of current content: Site Collections, Sites, Lists, and Libraries.
What to Inventory
What custom solutions or features have been developed, outside of the Out-Of-
Box functionality of SharePoint, including:
3rd Party Tools
Integrations with other systems
Custom Site Templates
Workflows & Server Controls
What to Inventory - Customizations
When we think of information architecture we should think in terms of:
Features and functionality
So when deciding on an information architecture we should consider the
Usability – Who’s the audience? What makes sense for your users? Are things
organized in a way that is intuitive?
Security – What security requirements does your organization have? This
Intranet, internet vs. extranet
Maintenance – From IT perspective how much maintenance is your organization
willing to perform. This could also include total cost of
ownership, implementation, etc.
Information Architecture - Questions
Substance over style (for now).
What do people want on the home page?
Leave the look and feel to the experts. (With the exception of branding and
corporate style guidelines.)
Keep reviewers to strategic few.
Understand that SP 2013 is not SP 2007.
User Interface Design
Some general steps to take for any migration:
Clean up environment before upgrade
Use a trail upgrade to find potential issues
Migration plan: details new architecture, plan for dealing with customizations, sets
duration for locked source content, sunset plan and back-out / recovery plan.
Lock content and functionality on source and target
Migrate content to mapped location on target
Recreate or reorganize content as necessary
Open permissions on target
Migration Strategy and Deployment
Besides a good communications plan, every migration would benefit from having
the following plans:
Back out plan – Specifies the necessary processes required to restore a system to its
Sunset plan – Once a migration has occurred, the outcome should be monitored by
stakeholders, business analysts, and IT in order to validate and confirm soundly that
everything migrated as planned. This is key to ensuring the sunset plan can be
initiated followed by the training and adoption plans.
User training plan – Enough can’t be said about developing a comprehensive, but
digestible training plan. Training is your best form of marketing and the only way to
Adoption plan – Upgrade must align with organizational goals and make sure that
there is a strong customer service/support model in place.
Migration Strategy and Deployment
Enough can’t be said about the importance of not only user training, but IT staff
training. Particularly if you’re jumping from SP 2007 to SP 2013/Office 365.
Training, Training and More Training
Make sure the upgrade is necessary.
Align with organizational objectives.
Create a strong implementation team.
Hold people accountable.
Identify and learn from past mistakes.
Make sure you know the product!